Dr. Laurie Elise Seidel has won the 2015 Ho Din Award, Southwestern Medical Foundation’s highest honor. It is given to an outstanding senior at UT Southwestern Medical School by the Foundation’s board.
Former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison presented the award at this year's UT Southwestern’s graduation ceremonies.
Seidel, a Dallas native, began her commitment to service early. While she was in high school, Seidel founded the Hearing Aid Recycling Program, which collects used hearing aids and redistributes them to people with hearing loss through the Callier Center at the University of Texas at Dallas.
In college, she was vice president of Emory University’s Colleges Against Cancer chapter for three years, organizing an annual bone marrow drive.
At UT Southwestern, Seidel maintained a 4.0 academic record and was chapter vice president of the American Medical Student Association. She helped found and was co-president of the Gender Equality Medical Society.
Seidel also served as a mentor in the Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure Program, encouraging high school students toward health care careers.
“I’m incredibly honored and grateful to the Foundation for this distinguished award,” Seidel said. “Looking at the list of past winners is both humbling and inspiring, and I look forward to continuing to serve patients with the warmth and empathy that are embodied by so many at this great medical school.”
Nearly 10,000 physicians have graduated from UT Southwestern, but only a few have received the Ho Din Award. The winner in 1966, for example, was Dr. Joseph L. Goldstein, who was a co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1985, the first UT Southwestern graduate to win the Nobel.
Dr. Soumya Adhikari, associate professor of pediatrics, said Seidel has “a knack for finding out, especially in the midst of crises, what matters most to her patients, and has an empathy for others that is bred from her own real world experiences, which have made her mature beyond her years. She is going to make a wonderful pediatrician.”
Seidel is moving to begin her residency in pediatrics at the University of Colorado-Denver.
The Ho Din award, which includes a $10,000 cash prize, was established by Dr. Edward H. Cary, the first president of Southwestern Medical Foundation.
“Dr. Seidel represents exactly what this award was meant to honor and encourage,” said Kathleen Gibson, president and CEO of Southwestern Medical Foundation. “Her humanistic approach to medicine, combined with tremendous scientific preparation, will bring forth the kind of physician that provides the highest quality of care. It is the standard on which the foundation and medical school were built.”